Like the kind, stupid step-father he had become, Sam waited outside the bridal chamber. His eyes drifted over the pews filled with the society people Tiffanie had befriended with his money. He wasn’t even Catholic. Out of nowhere, a single thought echoed in his head:
“I’ll never see any of these pretentious, stupid people ever again.”
Sam beamed. He nodded to Aden and Sandy as they came through the door. They sat in the back pew of the church.
The music started and the wedding party began down the aisle. Trevor waited at the end of the aisle for his bride.
Sam steeled himself for the walk down the aisle.
The door opened a crack. Tiffanie was pushed out of the bridal chamber by small hands with acrylic French tips.
“Sam,” Tiffanie said.
“Do. It. Now.” His stepdaughter whispered through the crack in the door.
“Sam, I …”
“She doesn’t want to be married to you anymore.” The step-whore pushed her mother out of the doorway. Dressed in her wedding finery, her made-up face twisted with hate and anger. “You stupid fuck. You look ridiculous in that tuxedo. Give. Him. The. Papers. Mother. DO. IT. NOW.”
“Tiffanie, you don’t have to do this,” Sam said.
He felt more than saw Aden get up from the pew.
“Yes, she does,” the step-whore said. Whipping around, her train flipped into the aisle and the step-whore stood at the end of the aisle.
The wedding crowd stood for the bride.
“I was going to have you walk me down the aisle. But I didn’t want an incompetent fool like you to soil my day. This is the start of my new life.”
Her hand pushed at Sam’s chest.
“I don’t want you to be any part of my life. We don’t want anything to do with you.”
Watching this drama unfold, the crowd began to whisper to each other.
Tiffanie’s face held a gentle smile for Sam. She gave him a stack of papers. He opened the divorce papers and shook his head.
“Now get out of this church!” the step-whore said. “TREVOR!”
“It’s okay, Sam,” Tiffanie said. “Tell Jacob not to worry about the bill.”
“You don’t have to do this.”
Tiffanie kissed his cheek.
“Sweet Sam,” Tiffanie said. “I’ve never been able to say no to her. Her father, either. It’s for the best.”
Trevor and his best man reached for Sam’s arms to throw him out of the church. But Aden blocked their way. Trevor moved to hit Aden. Aden shifted. In one easy movement, Aden threw Trevor over his hip. Trevor landed with a thump on the ground. The best man took one look at Aden and stepped back.
“Trevor!” the step-whore screamed. “Oh my God! Mother! Look what you’ve done!”
“Come on, Big Sam,” Aden said. “We have other things to do today.”
The step-whore flew at Sam. Her fists battered his chest. Her acrylic nails reached for Sam’s eyes.
“May I?” Sandy asked.
Sandy grabbed the step-whore by her shoulders and threw her off Sam. Leaving Trevor and his bride on the floor of the church vestibule, Sam, Aden, and Sandy jogged down the Cathedral steps.
Tiffanie stood at the door and waved good-bye.
The music started inside the church as they walked up Colfax to the parking lot. Sam opened the limo door for Sandy. Aden scooted in behind her. Sam bent to speak to them.
“I’m going to walk a little bit,” Sam said.
“Are you all right?” Aden asked. He moved to get out of the limousine. “We can walk with you.”
“I feel …” Sam’s eyes welled with tears. “My Celia is right here with me. I have my wife … my life … back … I can’t explain it. I … I’d like to walk with Celia for a while. Don’t worry. I’m fine. Jacob wakes up at four o’clock?”
“Four o’clock. Right.”
“I’ll be there,” Sam said. He laughed. “There is something you could do for me.”
“Anything,” Aden said.
Sam gave Aden the divorce papers and yanked an ornate wedding ring off his left hand. He smiled and handed the ring to Aden. He took off his bow tie and unbuttoned his shirt. Pulling out a long gold chain, he jerked a worn silver band from the chain. He gave Aden the broken chain and slipped the ring on his left ring finger. Sam’s face broke into a huge smile. He walked off toward Sixteenth Street. Sam waved to them as they drove by.
“Wow,” Sandy said. “What are you going to do with that?”
Aden rolled down the window and threw the ornate wedding band out the window. Sandy watched it bounce along the payment until it dropped through a sewer drain.
“Where to?” the limo driver asked.
“My house?” Sandy asked.
The retelling of Denver Cereal, Volume 1, continues tomorrow…
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